Convair CV-373 Transliner

During the late war years a lot of effort was put in the development of the new jet engines. People envisaged the use of these new engines for all types of aircraft, including passenger planes.

However by 1945 it became clear that the jet wouldn't become a reliable propulsion source anytime soon. Aircraft manufacturers quickly had to convert their plans to the use of piston engines for their future designs.

The Convair company turned to the proven Pratt & Whitney R-1830 engines that powered the B-24 bombers. Because they wanted to produce a new model as quickly as possible, it was decided to use as many B-24 Liberator parts as possible in the new design.

The aim was to design a new type of passenger aircraft that could transport up to 120 passengers. This led to a wide fuselage which increased the total weight of the aircraft considerably.

This led to the conclusion that the use of the B-24 wing was only possible if the aircraft was turned into a biplane configuration. So the CV-373 emerged as a fully metal biplane with 8 engines.

Although not very modern looking the aircraft proved to be a great success with both US and foreign customers. In all 400+ of the various civil variants were produced.

For the US Air Force the CV-373 was converted in a military transport and it served from 1951 to 1973 as the C-132 and VC-132.

Last updated: 23/06/2016